Social Investment Business announced today that they have appointed Hazel Blears as their new Chair. She will succeed existing Chairman Sir Stephen Bubb on April 1st 2016, and will work closely alongside Chief Executive Jonathan Jenkins.
Hazel was MP for Salford from 1997 to 2015 before she stood down at the last election. During a distinguished political career she served as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Public Health Minister and Chair of the Labour party.
Throughout her career, Hazel has played an active role in supporting charities and social enterprises and encouraging local communities to be involved in designing their own services. As an MP she was a champion of the Social Value Act, which places a duty on public authorities to consider social, economic and environmental factors during procurement. She is a member of the Big Society Capital Advisory Board and is a determined campaigner for improvements to dementia diagnosis, care and awareness.
“I am extremely proud to succeed Sir Stephen as Chair and excited to start working with Jonathan and the team. The Social Investment Business has a fantastic record of helping charities and social enterprises access the finance they need to deliver services in their communities”.
“Social investment has enormous potential to help us tackle some of our biggest social challenges, such as improving dementia care, and I am determined to make sure money can go where it is needed most”.
Rt Hon Hazel Blears, New Chair, Social Investment Business
She will replace Sir Stephen Bubb, who has been chair of Social Investment Business since 2006. Under his chairmanship, the Social Investment Business has become one of the leading social investment specialists in the UK, managing both grant and loan funds to help charities and social enterprises increase their impact. Since 2002, they have disbursed over £388 million in grants and loans.
“I am delighted that Hazel will succeed me as Chair and I could think of no-one better to lead Social Investment Business into the next decade. The third sector faces huge financial problems at the moment and social investment is one way of funding vital work”.
“However, we are also at a crossroads. Social investment needs to be simple, relevant and affordable. We have moved away from funds like Futurebuilders whilst too much emphasis has been put on more complex and expensive models and structures. We must address this to avoid social investment becoming an irrelevance to many in the third sector”.
Sir Stephen Bubb, Outgoing Chair, Social Investment Business
Social Investment Business will also be making further appointments to their board and these will be announced next month.